When we moved into our dream home, the last thing we expected was to have issues with our grill and patio furniture being ravaged by wind. Currently, our neighor to the north is a corn field, and there is nothing stopping or slowing down the wind. Two ripped patio table covers, sewing ties on all the cushions, destroyed ceiling fan, and several repairs to the grill after it was thrown into the yard, we decided enough was enough and built a windbreak!
This would also totally work as a privacy wall!
This is what we were dealing with before the windbreak went in.
First, let me say. this is not an easy project. I wish the instructions were do this and this and this and PRESTO! finished half fence, but its not that easy. The husband and I had a ton of help from my parents; with four of us it still was a lot of work.
That being said, if you have installed a fence before, you can totally do this!
Step one is the most painful; digging the holes for the posts, and for the length of fence we were installing (10 feet) we settled on 3 posts. We used 4×4 pressure treated lumber for the posts, and placed them in holes dug to 36 inches. Yes, 36. The reason for that number is that after we concrete them in, we can be dang sure they wont move. With our wind issues, we had to be sure the wall would stay put! Once the holes were dug, we mixed the quick concrete to a thick paste poured in the holes, and allowed to set overnight.
Next came the boards, hung horizontally, to make up the actual wind break. We decided to go with cedar. Since we wanted some wind to get through (less chance of the boards being broken by the wind since there was no give, and yes, its that strong) we allowed 1/2 inch gap on the bottom. After that board was secured (screwed to each post with two screws per board) then we just continued placing each board, one on top of another, until we were just shy of 49 inches. That was our compromise; the husband wanted it to be taller than the grill so it would be protected by wind, and I still could see over it. And for those that know me, yes, I can see over it….barely. On my tip toes.
After that, we added some caps on the posts, as we also have a huge bird problem, and we didn’t want them to sit on the posts and do what birds do all over the patio. We chose copper caps with an LED insert; they look great, and provide a little light when we are enjoying some adult beverages on a summer evening.
And that’s it! I don’t mean to sugar coat it as it’s a lot work, but for us, it’s a good solution to relieve some frustration.